DIY thursday: BOW-tastic!

i wanted to make something this week to send to my adorable little niece who lives in wisconsin. it had to be an object that i could also wear...so we could match from afar. these little fabric bows were just the ticket!

there are probably a MILLION bow-making tutorials on the web, but tragically i found one that ended up being really confusing. my first attempt was just plain bad! that will not do, so this is going to be literally step-by-step...because once you make one that actually looks good, you will not be able to stop!

you will need:
- assorted fabric (i used cotton fabric leftover from a quilting class, but you can use anything really)
- scissors/cutting mat
- a needle & thread
- iron and ironing board to press your fabric
- bobby-pins if you want to make them into hair accessories

1. iron all your fabric flat and then cut out the two pieces that will make your (approximately) 4" bow:
- large rectangle that is about 4.5" x 9"
- small rectangle that is about 2" x 6"

2. take the large piece and place it in front of you so it is 9" long by 4.5" high (horizontal) and has the wrong side of the fabric facing up. then fold the top and bottom in on itself, meeting in the middle - so now you see the right side of the fabric. press these folds into place with your iron.

3. then fold the short ends the other way into the middle - overlapping slightly. again, press these folds into place with your iron.

4. now stitch the overlapping fabric together. be mindful of getting all the layers and being in the center of the rectangle - this will ensure that each side of your bow will be even.

use a running stitch, which causes the fabric to gather when you pull on the thread.

i recommend using a thimble to help push the needle through all the layers.

5. keep the thread and needle in your layered rectangle (almost bow) and set it aside while you grab your smaller piece of fabric. follow the steps in #2 - fold it in on itself and press with your iron. then wrap it around the middle of the bow and trim it into a shorter piece...leave enough to overlap, but you should not need more than that.

6. take the small piece and wrap it around again, but get it super tight this time and tuck the edges under, so the frayed part is not showing. take your needle and stitch together the small middle piece. it does not have to be perfect since it is the back of the bow.

WARNING: you are holding a lot in your hands - with the needle/thread still there as well. don't be discouraged if this smaller piece wiggles around on you. once you start stitching, it usually falls into place. remember to wrap the small piece in the direct center...my first bow (pictured above) was quite lopsided. i also found holding the needle in my mouth kept it out of the way during this assembling section.

that's it! bow it up! the combinations of colors/fabrics are pretty endless. as are the places you can wear your new bows...in your hair (with bobby pin - pictured below), pinned to your jacket, attached to your shoes, etc.

i hope my niece likes her set!


  1. I will let you know- maybe a picture you can post!

  2. that would be awesome! I am putting together a little gift package for J&L that I should be able to post by Thursday at the latest.